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Citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the National Collegiate Athletic Association will relocate Division I men’s basketball tournament games from 13 sites where they were originally going to be played in 2021 to a single geographic area, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced Monday.

The association is instead discussing a proposal for the entire tournament to be played in Indianapolis, where the NCAA is headquartered and where officials already planned to host the final four games of the tournament, a press release from the association said. The NCAA and officials from the State of Indiana are in “preliminary talks” about the idea, the release said. 

Relocating all games to one metro area will “enhance the safety and well-being of the event” and the teams participating in the tournament by limiting interstate travel, the release said. 

“We have learned so much from monitoring other successful sporting events in the last several months, and it became clear it’s not feasible to manage this complex championship in so many different states with the challenges presented by the pandemic,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball said in the release. “However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”

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